Foodborne toxicants affecting the lung

S. L. Taylor, J. A. Nordlee, L. M. Kapels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Foods contain several toxicants that can exert adverse effects on the lung. Some of these toxicants are naturally occurring substances such as the pyrrolizidine alkaloids, histamine, the sweet potato toxins, perilla ketone, paralytic shellfish toxins, the red tide toxins, and botulinum toxins. Other foodborne toxicants affecting the lungs are additives (nitrite, BHT, carrageenan), processing‐induced toxicants (the agent involved in Spanish toxic oil syndrome, the mutagens from cooked meats), or environmental contaminants (paraquat, PCBs, PCDFs). Some of these toxicants have primary effects on other organ systems. For example, paralytic shellfish toxins, the red tide toxin, and botulinum toxins are primarily neurotoxins whose effects on the lung are secondary. The pyrrolizidine alkaloids primarily affect the liver. However, some of the toxicants exert their primary effects on the lung (paraquat, the sweet potato toxins, perilla ketone). For some of the foodborne toxicants affecting the lungs, these effects are only noted in experimental animals fed high doses of the toxicant for prolonged periods of time. Examples would include BHT, nitrite, and carrageenan. These particular chemicals are likely to be safe to consume under more normal circumstances of exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-187
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Allergy and Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Foodborne toxicants affecting the lung'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this